Lifestyle Blog from the Philippines

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Matters of the Heart

Once when I was in grade school, my mother told me that I had fainted and that it gave my teacher and my family a big scare when it happened. I don’t remember this, but I do remember having to go to one hospital and doctor after another taking all sorts of tests to find out what was wrong with me. It was at that young age that I found out that I had heart disease. 

My parents were very protective of me when they got the diagnosis. As much as I enjoyed running as a child, they never allowed me to do sports again. Any dreams I had of dancing, taking classes, and such were not encouraged because of how often I got sick. I rebelled against that for a while, taking gymnastics classes without my parents knowing about it, joining the dance troupe and cheering squad in high school and college, and going to the gym on school lunch breaks to work out with my best friend. I didn’t want my disease to define me, I did not want it to limit me. But eventually, it did.

Today my doctor has not allowed me to do strenuous exercise because of tachycardia, which means my heart is beating too fast. I was told that it could tire and weaken my heart and cause even more issues in the future. I am limited to walking and yoga. I would like to do more since I would like to lose weight but that’s all I can do. At the moment I am taking daily medication to help my heartbeat at a normal rate and up until recently, I needed to see my doctor at the very least every three months. 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

During my last visit to the doctor, I was told that he was happy with my progress. I had lost some weight (although not as much as I would like) and my heart had a strong, normal heartbeat. I can’t take all the credit – the medication I’m on is probably doing most of the work. Still, I am happy with the news – especially since I’ve been told that I don’t need to go back to the doctor for another six months. That to me is progress!

I don’t know if I can be medication-free one day, but I do hope that it could happen one day. I’m just worried that things could get worse as I get older instead of me getting better. I hope that won’t be the case.

For now, I’ll just keep on taking the medicine that I’ve been prescribed and will do my best to follow the required amount of exercise (if you can call it that) that my doctor has recommended.

I know I rebelled against being careful with my heart (there is a pun in there somewhere for Filipinos reading this), but now that I am older and I realize how short and fleeting life can be, I know that taking care of my health is very important. I wish I could have learned that at an earlier age but it’s better late than never right?



  1. This was precisely the reason why they wanted to transfer me to the ICU after my surgery last year. My heart was beating irregularly and there was a point it got so fast like more than a 150/minute. They said it's because of my hypothyroidism pero I'm happy that nawala rin after a while coz it's no joke as it could be fatal. I'm glad you're okay na rin pero hassle sa meds. Not to mention, expensive.

    1. My heart issues were worsened by the thyroid but lately naman euthyroid ako, so it's just my old heart problems acting up talaga. I'm guessing lifetime maintenance na sya, which I admit is not easy on the pocket considering apart from meds may regular checkups pa. Part of getting older I guess.


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